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View Diary: Obama nixes quickie MTR permits! (283 comments)

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  •  OK then.. (0+ / 0-)

    what is the point you're trying to make?

    My point is that I don't think this makes a whole lot of difference, and it upsets me. And I think we do ourselves no favors by falling all over ourselves to praise Obama for doing this the same week he is likely to abandon a carbon cap.

    It appears your position is that the people of WV will benefit from this regulation and that trees will be saved. My rejoinder to that is that it won't save enough trees to overcome the lack of a carbon cap in the energy bill.

    I'm sorry if you don't like how I say this stuff, but I can't mask how fucking pissed off I am at the President for following Rahm and his buddies who care nothing but for the next election.

    If that's how our leaders think, we are totally fucked.

    •  Let's be clear: The Senate is the problem. (0+ / 0-)

      It is fallacial to blame the Senate's deficiencies on the President.

      Politics is not like an episode of Green Lantern, where the only limitation on the President's power is how hard he tries and how much he wants something.

      Anyone who has studied environmental law can tell you that administrative actions and decisions are where it's at when it comes to the  majority of environmental concerns.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:24:19 PM PDT

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      •  And you're assuming I haven't? (0+ / 0-)

        Anyone who has studied environmental law

        Don't be so presumptuous.

        The Clean Air, Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water Acts (et al) are, indeed, quite good when dealing with non-climate change issues like air and water quality. They are ponderous, which is what caused these permits to be OK'ed in the first place (the appeals and bureaucracy are amazingly slow), but they do do well in those situations. However, they fail to give us a system in which to regulate GHGs. Entirely.

        And the President could have worked a lot harder on this issue. Whipped up a huge ad campaign. Come up with way sharper frames.

        But, as Eric described, Axelrod and Rahm thought it was a political loser, so they never gave a shit about it in the first place.

        Read it and freakin' weep:

        The administration was sending mixed signals about whether the president would spend political capital trying to pass the cap. Dealing with the White House required a one-day-at-a-time, God-grant-me-the-serenity mindset, especially when it came to Rahm Emanuel. The chief of staff was an obstacle to climate action.

        When corporate and environmental leaders from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) went to the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing for a late spring 2009 meeting with Emanuel, they could see that he didn't much care about climate change. What he cared about was winning -- acquiring and maintaining presidential power over an eight-year arc. Climate and energy were agenda items to him, pieces on a legislative chessboard; he was only willing to play them in ways that enhanced Obama's larger objectives. He saw no point in squandering capital on a lost cause. The White House could claim victory if Congress passed a beefy energy bill without a cap -- and never mind that doing so could torpedo Copenhagen and delay serious greenhouse-gas reductions, perhaps for many years. At the USCAP meeting, Emanuel made his views clear: "We want to do this climate bill, but success breeds success," he said. "We need to put points on the board. We only want to do things that are going to be successful. If the climate bill bogs down, we move on. We've got health care." Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) had to move the bill out of committee before the White House would get in the game.

        •  Rahm wanted to walk away from (0+ / 0-)

          health care when it looked like a loser too.  He is not the boss.

          Also, the President has some but not absolute power to change the political landscape.  Right now, Big Oil and Big Coal own a significant number of Democrats--and moreover even the partisan left can't make up its mind whether climate change or "JOBS JOBS JOBS" should be the central rallying cry.

          Remember the public option that Harry Reid said would have 60 votes?  Obama has reason to not trust the Senate to do its job.  Democratically-'controlled' Senates have a history of fucking Democratic Presidents.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:02:19 PM PDT

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          •  I think you're working awfully hard (0+ / 0-)

            to shield Obama from legitimate criticism.

            I did that for a long, long time. Even fought people I liked a lot real hard over HCR.

            I'm done with that, though. We were promised change and got a big bag of incrementalism.

            There comes a time when you stop making excuses and you either get the job done, or you don't.

            At least Lieberman and Kerry had the balls to try it.

            •  Two words: Murkowski amendment. (0+ / 0-)

              Obama did everything you wanted to oppose that, and still failed to muster anything close to 60 votes.  You had several Democrats voting for a pro-global warming piece of legislation.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 05:40:06 AM PDT

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